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Google's New Smart Contact Lenses with Cameras

Technology giants Google are pushing the limits of wearable tech with Google Glass and could soon launch smart contact lenses fitted with tiny cameras. O2 Guru Maddie investigates this exciting new technology.

Wearable technology is a relatively new development but is already moving faster than anyone could have imagined. Google has unveiled a prototype contact lens that can monitor glucose levels for those with diabetes, and just when we thought things couldn't get more exciting, their new patent application sees Google embedding microscopic cameras into contact lenses that could help the blind.

Blink to take a pic

These lenses enable the wearer to take photographs controlled by their own unique blinking pattern, offering hands-free pictures of your direct line of vision. However, the same contact lenses could have a less novel use and provide assistance to the visually impaired.

This new patent combines ideas from Google Glass and Google's tear scanning lenses that monitor blood sugar levels. The lenses use a tiny glucose sensor and a wireless transmitter to help diabetics monitor their glucose levels with incredible accuracy.

The next big thing, or just eye candy?

This smart lens project is being run out of Google X, the company's slightly off the wall research and development lab, but as of yet Google have not officially announced the development of the camera lens. So, the technology clearly has medical benefits, but do you think Google Lens will ever make it to mass market?

The benefits of a contact lens are that they sit on the user's eyes and don't obstruct vision in the same way Google Glass does. Glass wearers have also been criticised of being “Glassholes”. Google even put out an etiquette guide to help combat this, as the technology isn't exactly subtle.

A contact lens may be the preferred choice for those of us who love our forward thinking technology but don't want to draw attention to ourselves. On the other hand not everyone, especially non-contact lens wearing folk, will be comfortable with the idea of inserting something into their eye, which does exactly the same job as a smart phone.

Excited about Google lens? Let us know on Twitter @O2 using the hashtag #O2Guru or chat to other O2 customers in the O2 Community.

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